b'ARTEFACTA R T I S TS8 7I M P R E S S I O NWilliam Walls Falls of Shin oil painting is an ode to a classic Highland pastime, as Victoria Connor explainsOne of the most cherished paintings in the castle hangshe had to look further afield. For all its delights, the above a gilded walnut Gillow & Co sideboard in theSkibo estate lacked a waterfall. To remedy this, Carnegie Drawing Room. Commissioned by Andrew Carnegie andnegotiated the purchase of a tract of the River Shin and painted by Dunfermline-born artist William Walls, thisthe Falls of Shin from the Duke of Sutherland. beautiful artwork of the Falls of Shin has a fascinatingThe acquisition afforded Carnegie some of the best history and was very special to Carnegie. salmon fishing in the region, and he would often spend Carnegie was a keen fishermanso much so,the day there with Angus Macpherson, his piper, who in fact, that he substantially altered the landscape ofacted as gillie during these excursions. The falls were also the Skibo estate after he arrived in 1898 in order toa popular spot for the Carnegie family to take their house facilitate his hobby. In the space of just a few years,guests, so that they could see the salmon leaping upriver. he created both lochs Evelix and Ospisdale by excavatingSo besotted was Carnegie with his waterfall that he the ground, damning the rivers, and then stocking thecommissioned Walls to paint it. Renowned for his animal new bodies of water with brown trout so that he couldportraits and landscapes, Walls spent most summers in Ewen Weatherspoonenjoy a spot of fishing right on his doorstep. a studio in Spinningdale on the Skibo estate. His favourite form of pisciculture, however, wasMore than a century after it was painted, Walls salmon fishing. He constructed a salmon ladder (thatpainting is instantly recognisable as the Falls of Shin and members today drive over on their way down to thethough this piece of the river is no longer part of the estate, Clubhouse) but there wasnt much sport in it, and sothe artwork is a reminder of Carnegies beloved waterfall. '